Magnetic’s Retail Therapy – October 30, 2014

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1. Target Aims To Attract With Free Shipping

Target plans to challenge their competitors and win over consumers with free shipping this holiday season.

“The free shipping “raises pressure on Target’s rivals to match the offer, increasingly a requirement for shoppers to make purchases online,” observes Paul Ziobro in the Wall Street Journal. “A study by advisory firm Deloitte found that up to 60% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts due to unexpected costs, including shipping.” View the full article on MarketingLand

 

2. In Our Digital World, The Shopping Never Stops

What are you doing from 10:00pm – 4:00am? New data from Google shows that one third of you are online shopping.

 “Shoppers are also spending more time consulting more sources before making a decision. In 2010, shoppers used an average of five sources of information before purchasing, but that has more than doubled, with shoppers consulting at least 12 sources last year. This means that October through November has become a crucial period for retailers to reach shoppers online, being present with offers, information, how-tos and content.” Learn more from Google

 

3. E-Commerce Shopping At a Record High

With 56% of consumers shopping online, marketers must incorporate digital.

“That 56 percent figure is up from 51.5 percent last year, and also represents a record high for the 13 years that the NRF has been doing this survey. Another record: The NRF says the average shopper will do 44.4 percent of his/her shopping online this holiday season.” View the full article on MarketingLand

 

4. It’s Not Just a Shopping Frenzy…

Magnetic CEO, James Green, offers some tips on how to approach the bidding frenzy this holiday season.

“What tends to happen during a high volume-shopping period like Black Friday and Cyber Monday is, the number of advertisers bidding on audiences increases significantly, which drives up the bid price. As bid prices go up, so does the cost per acquisition, making it much more costly to acquire a customer.”  Real the full article on MediaPost

 

How Small Businesses Can Capitalize on Online Marketing with Retargeting

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Magnetic’s CEO, James Green, contributed to the AMEX Open Forum article “How to Build a Bridge Between Your Online and Offline Traffic,” which focused on how marketers can bridge their marketing efforts for Small Business Saturday. James suggested to “be prepared” by identifying what you want to promote, and to begin nurturing your prospects right away. “Timing means everything when it comes to getting in front of your customers,” he said in the piece.

“Aiming locally” is another technique James offered, and suggested using hyper-local advertising techniques, such as geo-fencing. “Research shows a large majority of consumers searching online for information about purchases want ads customized to their local surroundings,” he said in the article.

View the entire article here.

 

Attribution Revolution: The Mobile Series in Boston

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Last week, Magnetic hosted Attribution Revolution: The Mobile Series at Boston’s GEM Kitchen & Lounge. Attribution Revolution is an engaging series of panel events addressing key topics and challenges that currently affect the digital media landscape. Our panel’s discussions centered around mobile challenges and opportunities for marketers, including cross-device targeting, tailoring the user experience for mobile, and the importance of incorporating all devices into your attribution model.

The panel included:

Moderator:
James Green, CEO, Magnetic

Panelists:
Paul Pellmen, Head of Adometry, Google
Dwight Crow, Product Manager for Direct Response Advertising, Facebook
Vivian Chang, General Manager/Vice President of Technology Business, Tapad
Ed Haslam, SVP of Marketing, PlaceIQ

Twitter was alive with activity from the night. Here are some of the posts quoting the panelists:

  • “Cross-device strategy vs. mobile strategy: mobile isn’t a strategy, it’s a tactic…”
  • “79% of people are on a second screen while watching TV…”
  • “It’s no longer a linear path…you have to think about where the user is on their devices…”
  • “With cross-device, mobile drives the same amount of revenue as standard display – the conversion is just happening elsewhere…”
  • “Using last event attribution is no longer accurate…”

See the full panel video and pictures below:

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Navigating The Holiday Season’s Bidding Frenzy

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by James Green
CEO, Magnetic

 

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Featured on MediaPost’s RTB Insider, October 23, 2014

 

The lines have blurred when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as consumers now engage in both online and offline shopping activity all weekend long. In 2013, Thanksgiving and Black Friday brought in a combined $12.3 billion in sales, according to ShopperTrak. The National Retail Federation reported that 92 million people shopped on Black Friday, with nearly half shopping online. Additionally, Cyber Monday reached an all-time high, with $1.7B in desktop sales.

We all know the kind of frenzy that goes on during this time of year. First, consumers flood big-box retailers and soon after, online retailers get in on the action. For real-time buying (RTB), this means more than a shopping frenzy. The surge in sales around these prime shopping days also means a bidding frenzy.

By now, a large majority of advertisers spend a portion of the their holiday marketing budgets on RTB, which helps them reach and get in front of customers in real time based on a varied set of behaviors, including online search and site activity. What tends to happen during a high volume-shopping period like Black Friday and Cyber Monday is, the number of advertisers bidding on audiences increases signficantly, which drives up the bid price. As bid prices go up, so does the cost per acquisition, making it much more costly to acquire a customer.

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday and even throughout the larger holiday season, inventory can also be harder to come by. The influx of dollars spent on advertising in guaranteed buys may reduce the volume of inventory on the open marketplaces. The combination of less inventory available with increased demand also forces higher prices across the ad exchange environment.

As RTB matures, companies will become better equipped to deal with the holiday rush.   Here are some things you can do to make sure you reach your customers with the right campaign at the right price:

  • Adjust bid prices early on, and optimize pacing to ensure that your campaign can meet delivery goals. Hopefully you or your partner has an optimization engine that can do the heavy lifting for you.
  • Look at historical performance and evaluate previous market activity to inform your RTB strategy, including when to begin more aggressive bidding.
  • Lock in rates with proven sources of good media ahead of time with private marketplaces.
  • Experiment early on with cheaper sources of media, like long-tail sites.
  • Integrate your CRM database into your site retargeting campaigns. Bid more for loyal customers — you don’t want to lose them.
  • Implement a cross-device strategy. Tablets and mobile phones as well as desktops have RTB inventory available to buy. Not many companies have done this yet, but you may find it cheaper — and more effective — to reach your customer on a different device.
  • Think hard about your attribution model. Serving an ad to someone at the last second often does not have much of an impact. At this stage, consumers are most likely to click on the ad, as they have already made their purchase decision and decided to buy from you. Influencing purchase decisions earlier equals cheaper inventory. We’ve found that the most expensive inventory is not based on media type, but on bidding strategy. Site retargeting tends to be more expensive than all other forms of RTB bidding. Implementing a prospecting strategy such as search retargeting can significantly reduce your cost of customer acquisition, especially when you have the proper attribution model in place.

At the end of the day, advertisers want to be where their customers are — and RTB continues to prove that it is the most effective strategy available. Rather than placing such an enormous emphasis on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, brands should leverage RTB across the extended holiday season, taking advantage of data that can help them reach and influence their customers early on, well before the bidding frenzy begins.

 

The Holiday Rush: Ins and Outs of Technology Search Trends

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The holiday season is a mad dash for retailers to attract consumers. Magnetic’s search data, collected across shopping comparison, product review and e-commerce sites, showed spikes in technology search tendencies.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the 2014 holiday season will see the highest levels of consumer spending on electronics, increasing spending by 2.5% since last year.

Click on Magnetic’s infographic below for more insights!

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Magnetic and Tapad Partnership Allows Brands to Reach Users Across Screens

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Magnetic has partnered with Tapad to power search retargeting across devices. With Tapad’s Device Graph Access™, Magnetic’s online search data and media platform will enable marketers to reach consumers based on unified, cross-screen behaviors and to reach the same user with relevant advertising, regardless of their physical location or device.

How mobile retargeting works:

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Magnetic is the only search retargeting company to partner with Tapad and will now be the first to support cross-device retargeting using search intent. “Mobile adds an entirely new dimension to the customer journey, which has already become a vital part of the media mix,” said James Green, CEO of Magnetic. “Our partnership with Tapad allows Magnetic to reach the right audience everywhere based on search intent, regardless of their device.”

Click here to view the full press release.

 

Magnetic’s Retail Therapy – October 9, 2014

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1. The Christmas Creep

Think it’s too soon to start advertising for Christmas? The numbers prove otherwise.

“Two-thirds of people surveyed in a Bain & Company poll last week reported few, if any, negative feelings about it. One-third even said that the ads put them in a good mood. This receptiveness jibes with the National Retail Federation’s consistent finding that almost half of Americans start shopping for the holidays before Halloween.” View the full article on Yahoo Finance

 

2. Tis The Season Of Intent

Magnetic is giving marketers quick tips for the year’s biggest shopping season.

“Tightly tethered retargeting strategies allow advertisers to expand beyond a finite audience, a common barrier for site retargeting. Use intent across the funnel to turn attraction into action.”  Download the Magnetic Holiday Marketing Guide

 

3. This Holiday Season, Take Advantage Of Mobile

Mobile devices have become an integral part of a consumer’s path to purchase.

“Fully 60% of mobile device users said they were likely to respond to retail-related mobile ads that contained information about discounts and sales, the most popular response by a long shot. Product reviews (36%) and product information (35%) rounded out the top three.” Learn more on eMarketer

 

4. Holiday Spending Expected To Rise 4%

 This Holiday season, it is predicted that retail spending will increase by 4-4.5%, bringing total spend to $986 billion.

“The consultancy also reports that 84% of consumers are using digital tools, either before or during their shopping excursions. And because those shoppers make purchases at a 40% higher rate than those who don’t, Deloitte is encouraging stores to flex their digital marketing muscle as much as possible.” Read the full article from MediaPost

How Marketers Can Get In Sync With The Multi-Screen World

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by Soo Jin Oh
SVP, Data Business and Ad Operations, Magnetic

 

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Featured on Marketing Land’s CMO Zone, October 9, 2014

 

With consumers constantly switching between desktop and laptop computers, tablets, mobile phones, wearable devices, and connected TVs, it’s difficult to target users with relevant ads. However, a multi-screen or omni-channel strategy is the future for marketers.

An August 2013 poll by the Association of National Advertisers and Nielsen found that two-thirds of marketers spent up to 25% of their media budget on integrated multi-screen campaigns. Fast forward more than a year later and there are even more advancements in technologies, with the increased adoption of cross-device targeting and the new iPhone.

The age of multiple screens provides the opportunity for advertisers to engage and influence consumers across more channels; however, it also comes with a new set of challenges and considerations for marketers to keep in mind. Below are some tips on how to reach audiences across screens:

1. Choose The Right Tech Provider

It’s important to define a marketer’s desired environment before choosing a provider, especially with an eye to the two key targeting methods: deterministic and probabilistic.

Deterministic refers to 100% definitive targeting and is often validated by login data. Because login information is required, the user is known with a high degree of certainty. The downside is that ads can only be served in a limited environment. Additionally, there are only a handful of companies that manage to do this at scale such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

On the other hand, probabilistic, while not 100% definitive, uses statistical mapping of devices to identify unique users. Since the probabilistic method is able to span beyond platforms, operating systems and applications, it’s a more scalable cross-device targeting solution for marketers.

Companies like Tapad, Drawbridge, Conversant and BlueCava have created viable cross-device technologies that look at device patterns related to location, browsing and app behaviors in order to determine which devices belong to the same user. The downside of the probabilistic method is that it’s not as accurate as the deterministic approach.

Scale is key when it comes to device mapping, and it’s only useful if marketers can use it to identify their audience. Ideally, you want to make sure that there is enough overlap between your audience base and the number of unique users associated with specific devices.

2. Think Beyond The Cookie

With mobile usage surpassing desktop, industry decision-makers need to start thinking beyond the cookie or they will miss out on engagement opportunities. Cookies are not obsolete when it comes to mobile, but they certainly aren’t the most effective when you consider that cookies are not unique to a specific user and not 100% supported in mobile environments.

For example, if someone opens up three browsers, they can essentially have three unique cookies. It’s important to have technology that enables mapping of all the cookies to a unique user. In addition, browsers such as Safari block third-party cookies, and applications don’t allow for the functionality of cookies.

Major companies are already making the move toward a cookie-less existence. Google and Facebook have their own IDs in order to map users across the digital landscape, which offers a higher value proposition for advertisers.

Companies such as Verizon have followed suit by launching PrecisionID, which The Wall Street Journal described thusly: “[I]f a Verizon subscriber visits a shoe retailer’s site, the retailer might log that activity. Verizon’s PrecisionID could then help that retailer target ads to the same user’s mobile device within websites or applications.”

It is important to note that cookies are still quite effective in desktop and will be until a majority of transactions from buy and sell side across all players and ecosystem are using a universal ID.

3. Understand The Role Of Each Device

Today, it’s challenging for marketers to measure data points across each device and since a buyer penetration is still higher on laptops and desktops, smartphones and tablets are missing out on credit for helping drive conversions.

ComScore released data earlier this year showing that buyer penetration for desktops was 79% compared to tablets at 42% and mobile at 25%. ComScore also shared data that indicates that consumers now spend more time engaging with retail sites on their smartphone than desktop.

The challenge lies in obtaining a 360-degree customer view, where you see their entry point into the funnel all the way through to their conversion and properly attribute credit across screens. Understanding the role of each device along the path to conversion will impact how you evaluate the performance of your campaign and the performance by platform.

4. Marketers Must Adapt Quickly

According to an October report from eMarketer, U.S. adults are expected to spend 22.9% of their time in 2014 on mobile devices (non-voice), compared to desktops/laptops at 17.7%.

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Yet experts estimate that we still spend anywhere from 2x to 5x more on PC ad spend than on mobile ad spend.

Today’s spend is simply not representative of consumer engagement; time is spread across devices. Time spent represents a meaningful shift for marketers.

To put this in perspective, the average time spent on mobile per day has jumped from 3.7% in 2010 to 13.4% in 2012 and now to 22.9% for 2014 (per the chart above). This increase signals that consumers are quickly taking hold of more screens, and marketers should follow.

Marketing Challenge Vs. Opportunity

Many internet users own both a desktop or laptop and a mobile device, and most marketers want to be able to reach their consumers on as many platforms as possible. While there are many challenges that lie ahead in terms of perfecting the multi-screen experience, the opportunities undeniably outweigh the struggles.

Digital as a whole has reached critical mass, but the marketing universe still has to fully adapt into the cross device universe in order for the stars to be fully aligned.